The 2nd-generation Chevrolet Cruze enters its second year of sales with a new body shape added to the mix: a 5-door hatchback. The Cruze hatchback adds expanded interior and cargo space. Among its many features are Wi-Fi access, 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine (40 mpg on the highway), and a new diesel (52 mpg on the highway.) It also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Aside from expanded cargo space — 18.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and 47.2 cubic feet with them folded — the Cruze hatchback’s interior is basically the same as the sedan’s. The Cruze offers up interior styling that looks great without being too flashy. Controls are all placed sensibly, and the center-mounted touch-screen display and buttons for audio and climate functions are all easy to use. Cloth and leather seats are both comfortable.
While bigger than the 1st-generation car, the 2017 Cruze is still compact enough that parking-lot maneuvers are easy. The front-end elements are all very handsome and the slightly more conservative lines will wear nicely over time.
The 2017 Chevy Cruze L model is offered only with a manual transmission but also includes a 7-inch MyLink infotainment system, rearview camera, 6-way manual-adjust driver’s seat, built-in 4G LTE connectivity with subscription-based Wi-Fi, and a high-end audio system. More buyers will gravitate to the LS model, which not only offers an automatic transmission, but adds a nicer steering wheel, floormats and armrests. Cruze Hatchback models start at the LT trim level, upgrading the audio system, and adding steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls.
The 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine offers 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The big news is the new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine, which makes 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, all while getting outstanding fuel economy. Either way, power goes to the front wheels though a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on a base 2017 Chevrolet Cruze L starts at about $17,800, including the $875 destination charge, giving it lowest-price bragging rights. However, most will gravitate to the better-equipped Cruze LT and its still-competitive price of $21,000 with a manual, or $22,300 with an automatic.